Petersen Automotive Museum Gets the Green Light

Los Angeles (March, 2000) The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Board of Directors of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County have officially approved the transfer of the Petersen Automotive Museum and its automotive and ...

Los Angeles (March, 2000) The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Board of Directors of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County have officially approved the transfer of the Petersen Automotive Museum and its automotive and artifact collection to the new Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation, a non-profit organization.

The transfer, which will be effective on April 1, has been made possible by one of the most generous gifts ever made to any museum in the United States. More than $30 million has been given to the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Foundation by the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation to ensure the continuation of the award-winning, world-class facility.

The Museum is the brainchild of publishing magnate Robert E. Petersen, also founder and chairman emeritus of Petersen Publishing, now known as EMAP USA. Under his direction, the company developed more than 70 internationally popular titles such as Hot Rod, Motor Trend, Motorcyclist, Hunting, Skin Diver, Photographic and Teen.

The current Board of Directors for the Petersen Automotive Museum includes Board Chairman Bruce Meyer, Peter W. Mullin, Alexandria Phillips, David Sydorick, Bill Tilley, and Margie Petersen. Internationally-recognized automotive authority Ken Gross will continue in his position as director of the Museum.

"We were touched by the enormous outpouring of support from so many people who wanted to see the institution survive and prosper", said Robert E. Petersen. "We are thrilled to be a part of this new non-profit charitable organization, and are comforted in knowing that the children and residents of Southern California will continue to have access to this wonderful educational and social center for years to come."

Current Museum exhibitions include Treasures of the Vault: "Cars from the Permanent Collection" and Arte y Estilo: "The Lowriding Tradition," which will run through May 28. On June 17, the Museum will unveil its "Cars of the Stars" exhibition, a display of some of the most memorable vehicles from film and television. The exhibition will officially kick-off on June 15, with a gala event to benefit the museum.

The Petersen Automotive Museum is dedicated to the interpretive study of the automobile and its influence on our culture and lives. The Museum features more than 200 rare and classic cars, trucks, sportscars and motorcycles. It has also served as the venue for numerous civic affairs and charity events, and is equipped to facilitate gatherings of well over 1,000 guests. The multi-million dollar Museum first opened to the public on June 11,1994 and is located at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue along Museum Row.

With true-to-life dioramas that provide visitors with an opportunity to actually walk through exhibits, the Musuem lets guests experience Los Angeles and its culture over the last 100 years. The Museum recaptures Southern California's fabled love affair with the automobile, showcases today's hottest models, and offers a unique look at the concepts and design trends of the automobile's unlimited future.

Admission prices are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students with ID and $3 for children ages 5-12. Museum members and children under 5 are admitted free. Covered parking is available for $4.50 per car. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is closed on Mondays. For general Museum information call (323) 930-CARS or visit the Museum's website address at www.petersen.org.

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Drivers Peter W. Mullin